After a rash of murder and other crime, Dallas Police and city leaders unveiled an eight-point crime fighting plan for the Rothington Road area on the east edge of Buckner Terrace.
Dallas City Councilman Kevin Felder held a press conference Tuesday to announce the strategy.
"This must stop, and we intend to make it stop and make it safer in Buckner Terrace and South Dallas and throughout the city of Dallas," Felder said.
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Four killings have been reported on Rothington Road since April 8, where townhomes and apartments harbor rival trouble makers. Neighbors said they were reluctant to cooperate with police for fear of retaliation.
A fifth killing was reported on Memorial Day near Rothington on Berridge Lane, where a murder victim was found in a burning house.
The Rothington Road area is near Skyline High School.
"It's very alarming to come to school and see crime scene tape. Of course it heightens students' anxiety," Skyline Principal Janice Lombardy said. "We're very supportive of seeing the community and the city doing something about this."
Further away in Felder's district, five people were shot at a South Dallas recreation center, one of them a pregnant woman.
"I think if we continue to build community trust, build a relationship with the community, then we can effectively make change in these areas," Deputy Police Chief Avery Moore said.
Felder’s seven-point plan is:
- Increased police presence, including foot patrols to talk with residents
- Meeting with apartment managers to screen tenants
- Door-to-door surveys to determine who lives in units
- Food and drinks to establish relationships with neighbors
- Establish Crime Watch organizations in the area
- Code enforcement for other area problems
- City Prosecutors to pursue cold cases
Felder said he's interested in recruiting volunteers to help with the plan.
Pastor A.D. Smith with Ebenezer Memorial Missionary Baptist Church said police should have already been on top of the problem because crime is not new to the area.
"We've had crime out in that area there, for months, maybe years, but they wait until something happens before we get the coverage," Smith said.
Deputy Chief Moore said police need support from neighbors to find the people responsible for crime.
"Crime is not just police business, it's everyone’s business and if we really want to make change in these areas, we're going to have to work together," Moore said.
In the most recent police report from May, overall Dallas crime was down 6 percent, but murder was up slightly and crime is still increasing in parts of the city, including Buckner Terrace and Rothington Road.